Trout, bullpen power Angels past Dodgers

Trout, bullpen power Angels past Dodgers

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout's three RBIs and a middle-inning rally led the Angels to a 7-4 victory over the Dodgers on Thursday night, securing the Freeway Series, three games to one.

Angels right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 5.41 ERA) struggled with command, giving up four runs in 4 1/3 innings. He was picked up, however, by a stellar performance by the Angels' bullpen, as the unit combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings to wrap up the victory.

"I got in trouble myself, but the bullpen backed me up today," Chacin said. "They rescued me today, and they did their job for us to win the game. That's the goal."

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With the win, the Angels have won six of their last seven games and are within three games of .500 at 19-22.

The Dodgers' bullpen was unable to pick up starter Ross Stripling (1-3, 4.85 ERA), surrendering the lead in a three-run Angels fifth inning and allowing the Halos to add on a pair in the sixth to extend their lead. Stripling struggled, going multiple times through the order, was responsible for five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, and exited with the bases loaded in a 4-3 ballgame. The Dodgers' bullpen has allowed 13 earned runs in its last five games, not including runners inherited from the starter that scored.

"Another frustrating game. It just feels like I'm always battling," Stripling said. "I couldn't get the first guy out to lead off an inning and was constantly in the stretch. Felt like the game was at a snail's pace for me, couldn't imagine what it feels for you guys."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Plead the fifth: For the second consecutive night, the Angels found themselves in the bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning. Trailing 4-2 to begin the frame, a Gregorio Petit single and walks from Kole Calhoun and Trout loaded the bases. They would score on a hit batsman and a two-run single by second baseman Johnny Giavotella.

"We'll take runs any way we can get them," Giavotella said. "Fortunately, that break went our way tonight and we were able to capitalize on it."

Giavotella's two-run single

Howie heating up:Howie Kendrick gave the Dodgers the lead in the third with an RBI triple, hooking a fly ball to right that just beat out the glove of a diving Calhoun. It was Kendrick's second extra-base hit of the season. While the veteran got off to a rough start, he is hitting .348/.385/.435 in his last six games.

"The ball's finally starting to find some holes," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I think the last two weeks, Howie has put together some good at-bats consistently and he's hit the ball hard. There's a reason I've hit him leadoff, I've hit him third, I've hit him at the fourth spot."

Kendrick's two-run triple

We'll pick you up: Chacin didn't have his best command, as two wild pitches led to a first-inning Dodgers run. He left with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, but was saved by an overworked, but effective bullpen. Lefty reliever Jose Alvarez threw 1 2/3 innings, and Greg Mahle, Fernando Salas and Joe Smith followed to seal the victory. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Alvarez's performance set the tone for his team to climb back into the game.

"I think the job from Jose Alvarez saved the game, considering the circumstances," Scioscia said. "He got Joc Pederson on the force out, just bending and not breaking. He got the big out with [Trayce] Thompson with the grounder to short. It kept us within striking distance and we put together a nice little inning after that." More >

Smith earns the save

First time for everything: Ross Stripling seemed to have gotten through the worst of the Angels lineup in the fifth inning when he struck out Albert Pujols with the bases loaded. That sentiment lasted for all of one pitch, as Stripling hit C.J. Cron to score a run and cause Roberts to pull the rookie. It was the first hit-by-pitch of Stripling's professional career.

"I wanted to give him an opportunity to get out of a jam and his pitch count was fine. He was rested, so I wanted to get him an opportunity," Roberts said. "I felt Cron was a good matchup for Ross and he hits him with the first pitch.

Cron gets hit with bases loaded

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Trout's third-inning home run over the wall in left-center field was his 10th of the season and the 74th of his career at Angel Stadium, passing Bobby Grich for 10th all-time at that ballpark. He is one home run shy of 150 for his career.

Trout's solo homer

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: Scott Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) will take the mound Friday in San Diego. In his last outing, Saturday vs. the Cardinals, he came within one out of a complete game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:40 p.m. PT.

Angels: The Angels will send left-hander Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.42 ERA) to the bump to face the Orioles on Friday. He is coming off of the best start of the season for an Angels pitcher, giving up two hits over eight scoreless innings. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.